Mar 31, 2017

Welcome Party for Our New LoveCat - Shannon Curtis

WELCOME EVERYONE to a very special LoveCats DownUnder post. We’re welcoming new LoveCat Shannon Curtis to the fold! 

But as always in life, there’s a give and take here. Sadly we’re saying goodbye to long term LoveCat Yvonne Lindsay who’s been active here while writing so many terrific books for Harlequin Desire. We’re sorry to see you go into the wild, Yvonne, but we know the time is right for you. We’ll hope to hear from you in the future when you have time.

Now to our newest Cat. Shannon lives in Sydney and is published in suspense, thrillers, paranormals and contemporary romance – what a spread. Her books have been finalists for Favourite Romantic Suspense every year from 2011 to 2016, as well as Favourite Continuing Romance Series, with the Australian Romance Readers' Association. Her work has consistently received four-star reviews from RT Book Reviews, and in 2016 she won the Australian Romance Readers' Favourite Paranormal Romance Award! 

As we’re welcoming Shannon, and giving away some mammoth prizes too (more on that below) we thought it only right to begin with an interview so you learn more about our newest LoveCat.

How long have you been writing?
I actually penned my first ‘novella’ when I was fifteen. Alas, that will never see the light of day. I started writing in earnest when I was home on maternity leave with my first baby. I tried to write children’s books, but realised after the birth of my second baby that romance fiction was where my heart really was, and so in 2007 celebrated my first short story release. It took me another four years to get my first full length novel published.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy most?
I am a plotter. I love plotting, and structure, and any other anal-retentive preparation you can think of. I will spend a lot of time figuring out just how to best torture my characters. Mwhahahahaha! I tried to ‘write by the seat of my pants’ once, and it was the most uncomfortable, frightening writing experience. I prefer to spend a lot of time thinking up pitfalls and twists for my stories. J

Does one of your books stand out from the rest – because it’s your favourite or maybe because it was tough to write?
I would have to say the books I wrote for The Bold and The Beautiful franchise were amongst the most difficult and challenging. Prior to that, I wrote romantic suspense, and I was under strict instructions not to kill off anyone in these novels. No crime, no violence. No bombs, guns or poisons, etc. For the first time I had to remove the suspense element from a novel, and solely focus on teasing out the nuances of a developing relationship. To say it was emotionally draining is an understatement. I understand, now, that authors who write those books on a regular basis pretty much open up a vein and bleed out their story. It’s a really personal, emotional journey to write that type of novel, and my utmost respect to those who do it.




Can you recall the first category romance you read? Is there a book (romance or otherwise) that made you want to become a writer?
My first category romance was definitely a Betty Neels book (I think the title was ‘The Girl with the Green Eyes.’ My mother LOVED Betty Neels, and I’d ‘borrow’ (creep in and remove, read, then creep in and return) the books from beneath her bed. She would receive a little parcel of books each month, and I’m not sure who was more excited when they arrived. Then I was introduced to Robyn Donald novels, via a schoolmate (yes, we’d open the book to THOSE pages and gasp and giggle over lunch). I would have to say, though, that Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Jayne Ann Krentz and ‘Amanda Quick’ can be blamed for my desire to become a writer. I was introduced to their books in my late teenage years, and I was HOOKED. So we can blame them. J

What category romance are you hoping to read next?
I hear Kandy Shepherd has yet ANOTHER book out (Conveniently Wed to the Greek, due out May 2017), so looking forward to that one, and Their One Night Baby, by Carol Marinelli, due out in April 2017.

Do you share your life with anyone furred, feathered or scaled? If so we’d love to hear about them.
Yes, I do. We have a cat who I believe is just a tad psycho with me, but just fine with my daughter. Her name is Lily Rose, and she has cattitude. I also have a groodle (golden retriever x poodle), who needs to be shorn every 8 weeks or so, and who has the sweetest disposition, generally keeps me company while I write, and displays the appropriate level of caution around the cat. My dog’s name is Whiskey – on account that when we got her as a pup she had a beautiful whiskey-coloured coat. She’s sweet company. Okay, so I’m definitely a dog person, but that’s because our cat is a shrew. And she scares me.




Finally, can you share one fact about yourself we might not already know.
I used to do martial arts. Two disciplines; ninjutsu and karate. My darling heart husband and I used to spar in the backyard with sparring mitts. Until one of us was knocked unconscious. The crazy things you do for love… (note: I was not the unconscious one). Then life got very busy, and now we prefer to sit and watch a good action flick.

We're so pleased to have you with the LoveCats!
So excited to be here, and thank you all so much!

Please feel free to leave a comment here to welcome Shannon. 
Can you also please mention if you live in Australia? You’ll find out why in a moment.

All those who comment on our party post will go in the draw to win one of three prizes!

2 winners (from anywhere in the world!) will EACH win:
·         Michelle Douglas’s April paperback release ‘The Spanish Tycoon’s Takeover’,
·         Annie West’s April paperback release ‘The Desert King’s Captive Bride’,
·         Kandy Shepherd’s May paperback release ‘Conveniently Wed to the Greek’,
·         Amy Andrew’s paperback release ‘Playing by Her Rules’,
·         Bronwyn’s Jameson’s recent retro duo paperback (which includes another Michelle Douglas story),
·         Stefanie Little’s paperback release ‘Mr Dangerously Sexy,
·         A backlist paperback of your choice from Melanie Milburne,
·         Louisa George’s ebook ‘Something Borrowed’,
·         Jennifer St George’s ebook ‘Wild For You’,
·         Ally Blake’s ebook ‘Kiss Me Quick’,
·         Helen Lacey’s paperback ‘Married to the Mom-to-Be’, and
·         Sue MacKay’s paperback ‘Resisting Her Army Doc Rival’.

How is that for some amazing reading? PLUS
1 winner (who must be in Australia) will win a fabulous bundle of category books courtesy of Harlequin Mills and Boon Australia!


The three winners will be announced in the ‘Sunday Smooch’ post on Sunday 9 March. That gives you over a week to comment and to share with your friends who love romance. Don’t forget to check back on the 9th to see if you’ve won!

52 comments:

  1. Shannon, you've chosen a WONDERFUL place to hang your hat (or should I say "pen"?)! As I'm sure you realize, you've joined some mighty fine Cats. I would have said Cool Cats, but these women are Hot ... so ... you've joined some Hot Cats, LOL! (That just doesn't sound right, but you get the gist!)
    Yvonne will always have a spot in my heart, and now you will join her and many other authors in there too. (LoveCats are where the heart is, so to speak, LOL!) Welcome, Shannon!
    (Alas, Canada and not Australia here....)

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    1. Laney, I love the idea of being a Hot Cat! I'll try it out on my family and see how they react...

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    2. Thank you, Laney, for such a 'warm' welcome - and I'll take HOT as a descriptor, any day! Yes, I'm feeling very blessed in this company!
      Thanks again for your lovely words.

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  2. Woohoo high five Shannon yay welcome as you already know this is a fab place to hang out to much fun you are going fit in so well love your stories and your new ne is calling to me :)

    Yvonne it has been wonderful getting to know you, I have loved to your stories and I still have many more to catch up on I am sure we will still see you around the internet have a fab time :)

    I am from Australia

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Thanks Helen! Yes, I love Yvonne's books and her posts, so she'll be sadly missed, but I'm very honoured to be stepping in!

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  3. Shannon, welcome to the LoveCats! I'm so looking forward to having you here with us. Thanks for the fun interview. Love the photo of Whiskey (yes, I'm a dog person too). There's nothing like good canine company while you write, is there?

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    1. And it took forever to get just that photo of her. While I'm at my desk, she's all relaxed and lolling about, but as soon as you pull out a phone camera, she becomes Frisky Whiskey! Thanks for the welcome!

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  4. Welcome to the LoveCats, Shannon! So happy to have you as part of our pride :) OMG Whiskey is just adorable, serious pet envy right now. I'm also a dog person, but we can't have pets where I live now so I have to enjoy animals vicariously through my friends. Can't wait to hear more about your books!

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    1. I always wanted a dog, but was never allowed, so one of my very good friends got me one for Christmas one year - you pulled him along on his leash and his little wheels would roll and he'd yap until the wheels stopped. I can get you one of those...?
      Thanks so much for the lovely welcome!

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  5. Hi Shannon - welcome to LoveCats! So lovely to have you here. Your pooch is just adorable - and Lily Rose sounds like my kind of kitty kat. Looking forward to hearing more about them and your fabulous books :)

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  6. So great to have you here, Shannon. Whiskey looks a lot like our dog Toffee - together I think they could take on the wild west.

    Knocking your husband unconscious - you're made for romance writing!! I'd love to see some of those martial arts moves one late conference night but I will know to stand back...way back.

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    1. I meld them into dance moves, now, so you've probably seen them in between my sprinkler, shopping cart and epileptic twerk moves. Looking forward to more late conference nights with you!

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  7. welcome to the LoveCats group! I love finding new authors to read! I envy all these ladies for their ability to be a great story teller. My mind just doesn't let me write anything other than a few paragraphs. Your dog is so cute. I would love a dog but Roxie (the Queen cat) would not be amused.

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    1. Hi Laurie, thanks so much for the lovely words of welcome! I love finding a new author to read, too, and love it when it comes from readers, hint, hint - who is a recent hot rec from you?
      And yes, our cat wasn't amused either. I think that's why she's always looking like she's secretly plotting my downfall, LOL!

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    2. Gee, I think some friends recommended Shannon Curtis as a must read author! And all the other Love Cats!!!

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  8. Welcome, Shannon!
    It's fabulous to have you here. Love how diversified you are with your writing. So talented!
    Your household sounds like a fun one. Love, love, love your gorgeous Whisky. 😃

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! The household gets fun/complicated/chaotic/ etc, but NEVER boring. PS - loved The Most Scandalous Ravensdale!

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  9. Hi Shannon! Lovely to see you here. Welcome. I'm sorry to see Yvonne leave but glad you're here to take her place. Whiskey is gorgeous and isn't it interesting how many Love Cats are actually dog people. I am too so this gets my tick of approval. Oh and I'm Australian.

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    1. Thanks so much, Shelagh! It's funny, I was always a dog person, then my housemate had a cat which was the absolute sweetest, so I'll 'entertain' the idea of a cat - only our current little darling saves all her sweetness for my daughter, and everyone else just gets that disdainful look...

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  10. Hi Shannon. Great to see you join the LoveCats. Talented group of writers well deserving of praise for the stories they write. Sad to see Lindsay leaving. I hope we hear from her soon.
    It was at once funny and scary readong of you knocking your hubby unconscious.You've got some power, girl. Glad to read he's okay now and happily joining you in your adventures. Your doggie is a sweetie, and your cat...Well, cats do constantly try to be the boss, don't they?
    I'm an Aussie, as you know.

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    1. Hi Enisa, thanks for that! Yes, my sparring partner has never held that episode against me, fortunately! Thanks for the welcome!

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  11. Oh, that's it -- my motel room at the Conference in August! I want to see your martial arts moves, Shannon, Amy's splits and Annie divining for water! :-)

    But on a serious note, I'm over the moon that you've joined the LoveCats, Shannon! We're absolutely beside ourselves with delight! Who'd like a glass of bubbles to celebrate? I'm pouring some now... Oh, and look -- we have some lovely little nibbles here too. Help yourselves while I go and pop a little ABBA on the turntable to get this party rockin'. :-)

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    1. You are on! I'll do my martial arts moves (if I can remember back that far), but they're also way better to an ABBA soundtrack! And yes, I'm always happy to indulge in some bubbles! Thanks for such a lovely welcome, I'm ecstatic (and a little awed) to be part of this talented group!

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  12. Great story about knocking the husband unconscious!

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    1. Lovely of you to drop by, Victoria.

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  13. Great to have Shannon join you wonderful Love Cats.
    Love love. Love romance and love reading.
    What a fantastic bundle of books for some lucky reader.
    I'm in Queensland, Australia, shaken, not stirred, after ex cyclone Debbie danced the thunder and lightning polka in my back yard.

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    1. Pam, I hope you're recovering now from the brunt of Debbie. Brr. Not nice.

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  14. Welcome to the Love cats! Great to read your profile. I'm in Central Queensland, Australia, so I'm always looking for Australian authors to check out!

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    1. Anthea, I hope you've got dry feet after that massive storm. Good luck!

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    2. Anthea, you and I won the large prize packs.... hope you get notifications from your blog, because they have been trying to find you! email to the following to claim your prize : annie@annie-west.com

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  15. Hey Shannon - so thrilled you have joined the dark side. Oh wait.....no I didn't mean that, we're all good little Cats here. Promise ;-)

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  16. Welcome, Shannon. It's great to have you join us. We have a lot of fun here.

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  17. Welcome Shannon. I always love meeting new authors. I hope to soon be able to read your books, especially translated into Italian, since I live in Italy.
    Good luck for your books.
    Greetings
    Franca

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Franca. It's lovely to see readers as far away as Italy.

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  18. A warm welcome to you Shannon!!!

    Who knows you may just have brought the sunshine today.

    Saying a hello from a very, soggy QLD.

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    1. Hi Mary. I hope it dries soon up there. While it's still wet it's perfect weather for reading...

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  19. Welcome! I'm looking forward to your posts, Shannon!

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    1. Hi Natalija, and good luck in the draw!

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  20. Welcome Shannon!! Lovely to have you join the Lovecats!!

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  21. Welcome aboard to the Lovecats Shannon and a farewell to Yvonne and all the best for your future adventures. Looking forwards to your posts Shannon and cat's always rule. I know and such a beautiful dog. Waves from Tassie down under (Yes, Australia).

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    1. I forgot to add that is so cool about the Martial arts. Would have loved to learn that. I learnt Judo at high school and came quite naturally to me. hehehe :)

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    2. Jan, it's sad to see Yvonne go, but we're so lucky to have Shannon with us. Even more books to read!

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  22. Welcome Shannon... I look forward to tracking down some of your writing. I'm curious what Whiskey looks like when she's due for a cut.
    Farewell Yvonne, I'm sure that things will continue to go well for you.
    This post is proof yet again that I'm on the wrong side of the Tasman.

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    1. Hi Lyn. Not the wrong side of the Tasman! Both are pretty good! :)

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  23. Shannon,
    So nice to meet a new love cat! Your books look great! betty neels was one of the first harlequin I read, too.

    Laura
    (In Arizona)

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    1. Hi Laura. Wow, Betty Neels was a first for a lot of romance readers, I believe.

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  24. Shannon, it's nice to meet you and Whiskey. What breed type of cat is Lily Rose? I have a female Siamese that is scared of other people that don't live with her and she hates having other animals in her yard even though she is an indoor only cat.

    (In Orlando, Florida area)

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    1. Hi Amanda, it's great to see you stopping by. Your cat must find it so tough when you have people stop by to visit.

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  25. Shannon, how terrific you're joining this fantastic Aussie mob. I read the posts every week and enjoy them tremendously. Is Lily Rose a tortoiseshell? They are psycho cats, I had one called Tess. Looking forward to your posts.

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    1. Malvina, I don't understand harbouring psycho cats. Brr. I like to feel safe in my own house.

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  26. Welcome Shannon! So excited to have you here with us! Your dog sounds like such a sweetie. While your cat sounds like, well, a cat :). Can't wait to see what you have in store for us next!!!
    Ally
    xXx

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  27. WINNERS OF OUR GIVEAWAYS are:
    Laurie
    Anthea and
    Enisa Haines (who won the big Mills and Boon Australia book bundle). CONGRATULATIONS. The contact to arrange delivery of your prize is annie(at)annie-west(dot)com

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